Chennai Building Collapse

This tragedy happened  last weekend and the pictures brought back memories of seeing construction in India. The bamboo sticks are used for scaffolding, and my  architect assured me that they are very strong.  But to hold up a building of steel and concrete,” I asked ? It looked pretty fragile to me.

We saw lots of construction projects from neighborhood buildings to large projects.  There was one we walked by on the way to Domino’s for  our “almost” American pizza.   I remember  construction workers without hard hats and even shoe-less.   There were women in saris also carrying bricks as well as other construction duties.  The most surprising was a lunch break on a level 3 or 4 stories up and a family of father, mother, and several young children sitting and  eating. There was no railing for protection and it was obvious that the need of a job and payment for essentials for the family, outweighed the need of the children to be in a safe place.

Engineers  and the owner have been arrested at  the video site. I have no doubt that short cuts may have been taken.  The human condition of “The Root of All evil is the love of money” is a universal.    Let’s face it. . . . .life is pretty cheap in India. . .or at lease some life is cheap there.  There are very little if any national safety nets and people are desperate for money just to eat.  One night we went to Domino’s for dinner and  as we passed this site on the corner and the light waned, men were still working in the half-light.

BTW. . . . Chennai is the south  Indian city formally known  Madras.

Do you have any dangerous construction stories ? Did any of you have wonderful  Madras material from India made into  shirts or dresses that were so popular  in the US  in the 60s or 70s? 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
Video | This entry was posted in Architecture, India, Travel, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Chennai Building Collapse

  1. Hard to “like” a post like this. A similar tragedy happened here in Philly last year….


    • annetbell says:

      Unfortunately, they happen everywhere when selfish people take shortcuts for money. I remember years ago a tragedy in Kansas City where a balcony in a hotel collapsed. Professor used it as a example that even architects have people’s lives in their hands. It was not proven that it was the architect’s fault but for sure it was someone’s in the building process. He wanted the future architects to always remember that.


  2. Angie Wink says:

    Things like this are so horrible Anne. It happens in so many places in the world now, including the USA, because of greed. People want that money, and the price of a human life seems cheap to them. How horrible that the human race has come to this.


    • annetbell says:

      Greed is the root of it all. . . . . “Love of money is the root of all evil.” It is a universally human fault, seems to me! And yes it happens in the US as well. See above comment.


  3. Baldeep Kaur says:

    Life is cheap everywhere, not just in India. Look at what is happening in countries such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. Even in developed countries cases of mass shooting, legalization of drugs and selling off marijuana candies, are reported so often. In many countries, immigrants are given low paying job with worst possible working conditions. We all know the story behind iPhone production in China and meat production plants in the south of USA.

    Such incidents happen in India and other countries because of greed of the big shots, whether it is an international superpower, governments , politicians or big companies. As far as safety rules go, I completely agree that safer working conditions should be given to labor worldwide.

    I truly hope and pray that someday humanity revives itself.

    One more thing, Madras in not the formal name of Chennai. I think Britishers named this city Madras. It has been changed back to its original name ,Chennai, which is the official name now. 🙂


    • annetbell says:

      Your last paragraph is much more artfully expressed than mine. That is what I was trying to say ! One thing we noticed in India, was that in Ahmadabad, many people continued to call Bombay, Bombay and not the Indian name of Mumbai. We wondered why there was this holding on to the English name. Do you have any idea? Have you heard that?

      Thank you for you beautifully expressed comment to this story of “Man’s inhumanity to man!”


  4. It is a painful reminder of the famous saying of Nehru -“short cut short life”. The approving authorities also need to be punished in this case. Let this be a eye opener and let wisdom prevail hence forth.


  5. shaunynews says:

    Awful news 😦
    Is it really that common for buildings in India to be this poorly constructed?


    • annetbell says:

      Well, the description of bamboo scaffolding and workers , we saw over and over, buildings collapsing isn ‘t. This has happened in US. Professor used example of balcony collapsing in Kansas City to stress to architect students that people’s lives are in their hands. Sadly there are selfish people who want to cut corners to pocket the money.

      Good luck today with football live blog!


      • shaunynews says:

        It’s the same the world over, cutting corners to make a few pounds more..

        And football went well.. we won 3-1 against a real good Russian side. x


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